Non-evidence reasons why people embrace Evolution.

by hooberus 282 Replies latest jw friends

  • AGuest

    Dear Cofty and Qcmbr... peace to you, both! I can see no benefit in responding to your latest posts as I normally do so I will refrain for now, if that's okay. You both skirt the issues by posing yet more "I don't understand what you mean" rhetoric and I just think it's unnecessary to take up board space with a response. I do not mean to be offensive; I am just being honest.

    Greetings, dear Gerard and peace to you!

    I am puzzled at your assertion that you have evidence from religion but not from science (evolution).

    I have made no such assertion, dear one; however, you have made an incorrect assumption.

    There is a dramatic difference between belief and knowledge. Belief is insctinctive, a conviction of the mind, arising from information derived not from actual perception by our senses. On the other hand, scientific knowledge deals with facts for practical understanding of a subject. Do you agree?

    I do not, sorry. I mean, I can believe that the scientific evidence (if such existed) that says man evolved from a lower life form is true. I can believe there is no such evidence. I think, however, you are confusing belief with faith... which is an error and made by as many so-called "christians" as others, including atheists (not that you are an atheist simply because you might believe in evolution).

    However, I have not seen one shred of evidence from creationists/intelligent design; all their arguments ultimately rely on the Bible (belief/faith). Is the Bible what you call evidence? (please, I kindly would like to know, if I may).

    Absolutely not. It is NOT evidence. And such ones are wrong to use the Bible as such, other than perhaps to "reference" some things that it may state which they know to be true... or not true... themselves.

    I wonder if you are aware that no creationist has ever published a scientific peer-reviewed article.

    I am not. I am also not savvy enough to say that that is true... or not.

    That means no evidence has been presented in favor of creation - or dismissing evolution.

    Notwithstanding that it depends on what you mean by "evidence" I am not sure I can agree with you. Now, I know you might limit "evidence" to that which is "scientific", meaning proven by scientific process - but I am not so sure I agree with that because there have been/are many things believed, although not scientifically proven... that are true... regardless of what science "says". For example, that "neanderthal" DNA cannot be tested. Someone didn't believe that... and has now shown that it can be and has been.

    To say something isn't true until science proves it is tantamount to the WTBTS' doctrine of "new light". Truth is truth... regardless of what we "know" at any given time, dear one. Otherwise, nothing is true as what we know about it is always subject to change.

    Again, I bid you peace!

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


  • cofty

    Your question is very muddled Shelby. If you are asking about speciation then TD has already made a very useful start in helping you with that. If you want to know more about the significance of Lenski's experiment then I answered that in detail in the Evolution in a Theological context thread (Cofty - Post 575 of 655)

    Your response was basically that it was of no significance because god (the Most Holy One of Israel) can manipulate the environment to produce whatever changes he wishes.

    I'm sorry but if you are going to keep resorting to magic for explanations then you have abandoned scinece all together and we have no common ground.

    Your refusal to share what you know about evolution already is churlish. If somebody asked us to explain calculus but refused to tell us whether or not they have basic maths, where would we begin? Some of your comments suggest you are missing some of the absolute basics that is why people are suggesting you go read a good introduction like "The Greatest Show on Earth"

  • Qcmbr

    I'd just like to point out in case anyone is worried I don't have any servants...

  • cofty
    For example, that "neanderthal" DNA cannot be tested. Someone didn't believe that... and has now shown that it can be and has been

    No scientist ever said that. Scientist humbly admit there are things they can't know YET. Then they do some hard work and things move on. It illustrates the difference between reason and dogma quite well.

  • PSacramento
  • AGuest

    Dear Cofty (again, peace to you!)... straw man. Now, I don't normally use that term, certainly not frequently, but you're doing it SO much I can't help but point it out. I resorted to no magic; I asked valid questions... even reposted them for you... which you are unable/unwilling to admit you cannot answer. Now, I know you cannot, and it's really no big deal to ME... but you should probably stop acting like you can (dear TD's response didn't answer the question and your reference to it doesn't, either).

    Isn't it interesting how you poo poo scientific opinion that challenges your beliefs yet endorse those that support them?

    I've done nothing of the sort, dear LC (again, peace to you!). I did, however, think it interesting that ones still believe things that science has now proven different. Which is all I was pointing out. I never doubted that certain humans possess "neanderthalic" traits... most certainly due to the presence of "neanderthalic" genomes. So, you've got it backward, dear one: I am not supporting science; science is only proving... albeit a bit slowly... what I've been told and come to know is true.

    Then again, do you really endorse the article you put forward? Regardless, I should have been more specific (as I am learning from your hominid comment) and said that to my knowledge no neanderthal DNA sequence, partial or otherwise, exists in modern humans. That said, the article you have cited is still theoretical and not all paleoanthropologists will agree with it. It could be yet proven right, and I could be surprised and also delighted to have learned something new. It happens all the time when one's mind is open to discovery.

    I think you're wrong, here, dear one. Truly. I don't think it is a theory... any longer. I think the theory, for now, is that neanderthalensis is a different species from sapiens. As I stated before, though, give 'em another 10-20 years. They'll resolve that one, too.

    the door is slammed on devolution. Evolution is a one way street. The general rule is "up or out".

    Yes, and so I meant evolution. The mule species can go no further. No subspecies originating from mules.

    To my comment that "ALL Eurasian homo sapiens... carry neanderthalic genomes" you replied:

    Nope. Studies indicate the presense of tiny genetic remnants. Not even partial neanderthal DNA sequences, and certainly no genomes are found since a genome is the full DNA sequence of an organism. Your terminology miscue aside (it happens in conversation, no biggie), where did the remnants come from? Were they already present in a common neanderthalensis/sapiens anscestor and were not, in fact, passed on from hybrids?

    I think you should consider re-reading the studies, dear one.

    Shelby, you're right again. I am making an assertion based upon an impression gleaned from reading dozens of your posts and I could be wrong. I accept that I have been wrong on many occasions and accept that you are telling me that I am wrong about you now. You are telling me your mind is open. A direct and honest answer to a single question will clear it up.

    Okay, if I can answer... I certainly will...

    Do you accept the slightest, tiniest, remotest possibility that life evolved on this planet?

    I do! I have NEVER said that I do NOT. I do NOT, however, accept that life "evolved" from a common ancestor, but rather was CREATED from that one common ancestor... the One who is the Life... that his essence was used to create ALL life in the physical world... which is why there is commonalities at the basest point of life, DNA... and that after creating the "kind" and from that the genus... many, many, many species "evolved" from those... with one exception: humans. Like seraphs, they are the only species of their "kind" genus.

    I have stated that so many times I cannot count, so I hope THIS time clarifies, dear LC.

    I'd just like to point out in case anyone is worried I don't have any servants...

    Sure you do, dear Qcmbr (again, peace to you!). At least two: Christ... and because of him, me. But I am sure there are many more. Because that is what the kingdom of God is all ABOUT: serving others. Which is why my Lord, a servant of the True God, was chosen to lead it.

    I bid you both peace!

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


  • TD


    I hope I clarified/answered your questions. Again, peace to you, dear one!

    I'm still trying to understand. You're probably stating it plainly and I'm just being thick.

    In the thread, "Flow Chart - How to have a rational discussion" you said,

    Atheists (or, rather, pure evolutionists)... with regard to evolution beyond the species. For example, although a medium ground finch may adapt to its environment in order to survive (i.e., develop a smaller beak), it is still geospiza fortis (i.e., a medium ground finch). It does not evolve into some other species of finch.

    This is why I was wondering if you might be using a generic definition for species.

    The debate between the creation and evolution schools of thought over whether new species diverge from common stock has been acrimonious in the past, but most advocates of creation do not bother to argue against that idea anymore. There are too many examples where it has happened or appears to be in the process of happening.

    For example, Michael Denton in the book Evolution A Theory In Crises (Which as the title suggests, is anti-evolution) acknowledges the reality of speciation and concedes that Darwin had discovered a "Partial truth." I'm trying to be a nicer person (Like you) and not my usual self here so the examples below are only offered to be helpful:

    One evidence of speciation is a phenomenon called "ring species" This occurs when a family of animals ranges over a very large area.

    This is a Herring Gull:

    This is a Lesser Black-backed Gull:

    These are two separate species that both live in Great Britain. Clearly related, but different in size, appearance and habits. With birds, that's enough to create a reproductive barrier. Birds can't stand it when other birds look and act differently.

    British Herring Gulls will breed with Herring Gulls living on the east coast of America though. Those in turn, breed with the Herring Gulls livng in Alaska. Alaskan Herring Gulls breed with those living in Siberia. As you move along the norther coastal areas of Russia, the Herring Gulls get smaller and have darker markings. If you continue through Scandinavia and back to Great Britian, they are clearly Lesser Black-Backed Gulls and not Herring Gulls. So two species that do not interbreed when they are together are actually connected by intermediate forms all the way around the world.

    This is one of the most popular landscape plants in the southwestern U.S.

    The common name for it is the Golden Barrel Cactus. It's a relatively recent hybrid that occured naturally in a small area of Mexico. It is more closely related to true barrel cacti (Ferocactus) but it's ovaries are incompatible with their pollen. The result is a plant that does not cross-pollinate with either parent. A self perpetuating hybrid that does not get swallowed up by one or the other of the parent species through interbreeding is a new species and botanists don't have much of a choice but to classify it as such.

    These examples aren't given to convince anyone of evolution. A modern advocate of creation would shrug and say, "So what?" But it was not so very long ago when speciation was denied by many on the creation side of the debate.

  • cofty
    you are unable/unwilling to admit you cannot answer. Now, I know you cannot, and it's really no big deal to ME... but you should probably stop acting like you can

    That is disingenuous. I have asked you to clarify your question a number of times. Nobody wants to waste time answering a question only for the other person to reply that it is not the question they asked in the first place. I think TD's post above is probably getting at the nub of what you are asking but who knows?

    Are you seriously arguing against speciation? TD's example is an excellent one. Further to that here are a series of gulls all of which I see on a daily basis - ironically enough apart from the "common" Gull which is less common on the East Coast . They are in order Common, Lesser Black Backed, Herring, Black Headed and Greater Black Backed Gulls

    Do you accept all of these evolved from a common ancestor or do you believe they were each a special creation. Or if I understand one of your previous posts correctly do you beleive god used evolution to bring about each of these separately? None of them ever interbreed which by definition makes them separate species.

  • thetrueone

    Sorry AGuest, science trumps mythology ever time

    Debunking Christianity

    Genesis 1:26-1:27, Creation of Humans in Near Eastern Myths And The Paleolithic Era

    By Anonymous at 5/12/2008 This article presents evidence to support the conclusion that Gods creation of Adam and Eve(1a) is a Near Eastern (Southwest Asian) myth. This conclusion is a premise in a linked argument spread out over a series of articles intended to debunk Genesis 1-11 and Romans 5.

    This article is a collection of notes put together from sources that are represented by quick reference links to similar webpages to make it easy to get more information as quickly as possible. The original sources are listed at the end.

    P1. The Interconnectedness of The Ancients - Demonstrates the robust ancient civilizations at the time and that Canaan, Israel and Judah were central to them. Discusses trade routes, seafaring, the link between whales and the Leviathans of Mythology and how long it would take to get from one civilization to another by sea.
    P2. Genesis 1:1-25 Is An Amalgam of Near Eastern Creation Myths. Demonstrates the prior existence of key elements of the story of the creation of the Universe that appears in Genesis.
    P3. Genesis 1:26-1:27, Creation of Humans in Near Eastern Myths And The Paleolithic Era. Demonstrates that the physical evidence contradicts the story of the making of the first humans in Genesis.

    There are two versions of the Human Creation Story in Genesis(1b). The concept is the same but the details are different. That is consistent with the criteria for folklore(2) described in Alan Dundees book "Holy Writ as Oral Lit" which are "multiple existence and variation". The bible is full of stories with the same concept but different details. For example, compare Isaiah, Jeremiah and Micah. Here is a list of folklore characteristics I pulled down from a high school website.
    * Generally part of the oral tradition of a group. Most stories are told rather than read
    * Passed down from one generation to another
    * Take on the characteristics of the time and place in which they are told, and the personality of the storyteller
    * Speak to universal and timeless themes. The try to make sense of our existence, help humans cope with the world in which they live, or explain the origin of something.
    * Often about the common person
    * May contain supernatural elements
    * Function to validate certain aspects of culture

    Generally, myths are a subcategory of Folklore that contain supernatural or Religious components.

    The famous Documentary Hypothesis(3) posits that the Torah (aka Pentateuch, first five books of the Old Testament) is a collection of writing from four sources over a period of about 500-600 hundred years. Genesis 1 is from "The Priestly" source(4) , and Genesis 2 is from "The Jawist" source(5) (Jawist being the German word for Yawist). Using this as our guide, that would make the first creation story from about 450 BCE and the second one from around 950 BCE. The characteristics of the Torah that support the Documentary Hypothesis are some of the same characteristics that are consistent with the definition of Folklore. Some bible scholars don't like the documentary hypothesis, but they seem to be in the minority, and I haven't seen any compelling arguments to refute it. In one of the courses I listened to the teacher try to pick apart the Documentary Hypothesis but he used "special pleading"and wasn't very convincing.

    Both creation stories were incorporated into the Torah about 400 BCE(5) during the rule of the Persian Empire. There are many differences in the two stories. Some differences in the two stories reflect the time, place and theology that they were written in. The First story, written later, has a God removed from creation and does not play much of a role with Humans after the creation. It was supposedly written during the Persian Rule after the Babylonian Exile. The second story was written much earlier and reflects a God that is involved and an integral part of Human Lives. It was supposedly written 500 hundred years earlier when the Jews were relatively self-governing and self-reliant.

    Four major differences in the two stories follow, but there are many others that are not covered here.
    A. God is referred to by different names in each story. In the first story he is referred to as Elohim (“God”) and in the second story he is referred to as Yahweh (“LORD”) or Yahweh Elohim (“LORD God”).
    B. The methods of creation are different. In the first story creation occurs by the spoken word and in the second story creation occurs by physical means (for example, God plants a garden).
    C. The order of creation is different in the two stories. The first story follows the order in the Enuma Elish(6) and starts with vegetation and proceeds to animals on to humans, and the second story begins with the male human, then the vegetation in the Garden of Eden, and then the animal kingdom.
    D. In the first story, the man and woman are created together, but in the second story, the male is created first, with the female made later from his rib.

    Multiple existence and variation is the Criteria for Folklore

    GENESIS 1:26-1:27
    * Genesis 1-31 Closely follows the structure of the Enuma Elish in the creation of the world
    * Genesis 1:26-27
    -- Generally thought to be written much earlier, and attributed to the "Priestly" writer
    -- Has evidence of polytheism (7). At the time of the writing of Genesis, the theology about Angels hadn't been developed (angels were an aspect of God and not separate beings)(8), neither had the trinity, or use of the "Royal We" by royalty to refer to themselves in the third person.
    -- We can see from the Bible that the Early Jews struggled with Polytheism which is supported by Archeology.

    26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

    * Humans having aspects of a God are common in myths whether its breath, blood, body or spit
    - Hinduism has a God Purusha(9) ritually sacrificed himself to make the cosmos and humans out of pieces of himself.
    - Enuma Elish has man being made from the blood of the God Kingu(10) and dirt.

    27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

    God made a man and a woman. They were supposed to be the first and therefore alone. But we know from Paleontology that many different forms of hominids existed before our species Homo Sapiens Sapiens in the Paleolithic era(11). Therefore this claim does not fit the physical evidence.

    Before you proceed any further, I highly recommend you visit
    The Genographic Project, a joint Effort between National Geographic and IBM. It is a great quick and concise source of Human Ancestry information and serves as a complementary multimedia presentation for this article, looks nicer and is much more entertaining.

    Unlike our story in Genesis, the following has been derived from physical evidence retrieved by the hard, backbreaking, and mind-numbing work of millions of truth seekers over the course of more than a hundred years. is a good place to start for a quick reference to this type of information

    In the Paleolithic era, climate changes caused Ice Ages which played a key part in Human migration. It caused the Sahara to expand and contract (12a), fossils and tools have been found in and around dried up lake beds in the Desert. So far three main forms of Hominid have been identified (of which Homo was the direct ancestor of Humanity), which belong to two broad groups.

    * 2.4 - 1.5 million BCE:
    - Homo Habilis(13), bipedal, made and used tools, butchered meat with tools, physically possible for speech but likely brain didn't support language, became dependent on technology, had greater social intelligence.

    * 1.8 million BCE and 300,000 BCE:
    - Homo Erectus(14) controlled fire, improves the tools, followed herds, migrated north with herds, hunted Big Game, adapted to Ice Age climate about 780,000 BCE
    - First diaspora, Homo Erectus spread to Asia, Eurasia, and as they evolved crept into Europe (between 1.8m BCE and 800,000 BCE).

    * 500,000 - 250,000 BCE:
    - Homo Erectus larger brain size, better developed Broca's Area(14a) needed for speech, , rudimentary communication with sounds and gestures, butchers animals, migrated as far as Europe, lived among ice sheets and glaciers, tools and fossils found in Ubeidiya(14b) in Israel from 1.4m BCE, followed the herds, lived near lakes and rivers, 500,000 BCE drove large prey such as bison over cliffs, used spears, cooperated among themselves.

    * 300,000 - 30,000 BCE:
    - Leslie Aiello and Robin Dunbar theorize that language ability appeared in humans 250,000 BCE(15,16)
    - Neanderthals(17) more sophisticated than Homo Erectus developed more or less in parallel with Homo Sapiens, improves tools lived 230,000 and 30,000 years ago, lived alongside Homo Sapiens, might have had language, certainly rudimentary communication, obviously able to survive in warmer temperatures additionally they adapted well to the extreme cold of the Ice Age using northernmost settlements in summer, made composite tools which have more than one part, but eventually died off by 40,000 BCE leaving only Homo Sapiens
    - The earliest indications of rituals and/or religious behavior are found among Neanderthals(18).
    -- Neanderthals buried their dead carefully with food and implements and removed the brains from human skulls. This practice suggests cannibalism, probably to gain the skills and virtues of the deceased. Neanderthals also preserved skulls and bones of cave bears on platforms or shelves in their caves.

    * 200,000 - 100,000 BCE:
    - Homo Sapiens Sapiens(19) - Modern forms of Homo Sapiens first appear about 195,000 years ago in Africa.
    - Three groups or major grades of archaic forms have been identified
    -- Early archaic Homo Sapiens closer to Homo Erectus, heavily built, 200,000 BCE. Molecular Biology mitochondrial DNA points to humans evolving in tropical Sub-Sahara Africa and is a potentially reliable link between modern and ancestral humans, "Mitochondrial Eve"(20) points to a population which we all have in common in Africa.
    -- Late archaic Homo Sapiens, mosaic of different features found on surviving skulls, small bands of different creatures numbering in the thousands, more modern date to 100,000 BCE
    -- Anatomically modern widely distributed at least 115,000 BCE in east and southern Africa

    * 100,000 - 40,000 BCE: * The Great Diaspora(21)
    - Ecological background affects, appearance of new hunting kits south of the Sahara ~100k years ago.
    - Evolution of modern humans had run its course from 100-70,000 BCE ago in east and southern Africa, far earlier than Europe and Asia, Neanderthals flourished in Europe, and southwest Asia,
    - In 70,000 BCE estimate of worlds human population is around 2,000(21).
    - With the serendipitous mutation of the FOXP2(22) gene, Humans acquired modern language abilities and were capable of sophisticated communications(23), facts concepts and ideas, emotions, reason, planning, adapting, dramatic changes in cognitive ability.
    - Two theories of the dispersion of humans. 1. out of Africa Hypothesis(24), 2. multi-regional (recently refuted)(25), DNA examination shows that Neanderthals and humans are incompatible and cannot interbreed(26).
    - DNA, blood groups and enzymes show that , there is a primary split between Africans and non-Africans, Eurasians-SW Asians.
    - It appears that all humans have a common male ancestor who has been named "Adam".
    From the National Geographic Genographic project(27)
    "Adam--60,000 ya
    --"Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. he lived in Africa some 60,000 ya, which means that all humans lived in Africa until at least that time.
    -- Unlike his biblical namesake, this Adam was no the only man alive in his era. Rather , he is unique because his descendants are the only ones to survive to the present day.
    -- It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. he is the coalescensce point of all the genetic diversity found in the world's disparate peoples. Adam had human ancestors as well, but we have not remaining genetic evidence of them. The changes to the Y chromosome that we follow back through the generations to identify Adam end in the commonality of that shared ancestor. (genographic project)"
    -- As the climate in the Sahara changed by becoming wetter, and dryer in a periodic cycle, animals and people moved in and out of it. Before 100,000 years ago the Sahara had many shallow lakes and semi-arid grasslands. When the Sahara dried up, everything moved out to the edges.
    -- Sometime between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago humans moved out of Africa. They would have followed any of several migration options, including through the Nile Valley, across the Red Sea, and along the northern coast. Fossils in the Qafzeh Cave(28) and other places in Israel show that Homo Sapiens Sapiens and Neanderthal lived alongside each other for thousands of years.
    -- During the height of the last glaciation the geography of southeast Asia was different than it is today. Sea levels were 300 feet lower than they are now. There is good evidence for seafaring after 50,000 BCE(29). The distance between land was shorter.
    - Remains of early human beings from the Upper Paleolithic era show a religious life similar to that of Neanderthals.
    -- Mousterian material culture of the Middle Paleolithic appears throughout the Mediterranean basin.
    -- Human beings from this era (like the Neanderthals) share a concern with proper treatment of the dead.
    -- During this era, the dead were buried carefully, usually with the feet pulled up into a contracted position.
    -- Burials were often in the cave where the group lived or in another cave nearby.
    -- The body was typically buried under a stone slab with ornaments, stone tools, food, and weapons.
    - About 40,000 years ago, with the appearance of the Cro-Magnon culture, tool kits started becoming markedly more sophisticated, using a wider variety of raw materials such as bone and antler, and containing new implements for making clothing, engraving and sculpting. Fine artwork, in the form of decorated tools, beads, ivory carvings of humans and animals, clay figurines, musical instruments, and spectacular cave paintings appeared over the next 20,000 years.

    * 30,000–10,000 BCE:
    - In The Upper Paleolithic era There were major changes in how humans behaved.
    -- Early Homo Sapiens in Europe carved antlers, painted the walls of caves and molded clay figures.
    -- They made exaggerated clay female figurines that appear to be associated with fertility rites.
    -- Old Stone Age religious rituals appear to be intended to maintain harmony between the living and dead.
    -- The end of the Old Stone Age is marked by a revolution in material culture and substantial climate changes.
    -- The end of the Paleolithic era leads to changes in religious activities to address changes in how people lived.

    * 10,000 BCE:
    - the estimated world population was 1-10 million.(30)
    Adam and Eve are Near Eastern (Southwest Asia) Creation Myths because
    - Signs of human intelligence and non-specific pagan "religion" start with the Neanderthals. They include tool making, origin of speech and language and a pagan belief in the supernatural. Experts start talking about rudimentary communication about 500,000 years ago, burying the dead about 100,000 years ago, evidence of Cro-Magnon religion in cave paintings 45,000 years ago,
    - Physical evidence for Evolution from one of three forms of hominids in sub-Saharan Africa, the expansion and contraction of the Sahara as the catalyst for migration, Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, the first diaspora, Neanderthals, Homo Sapiens second diaspora, and the out of Africa theory
    - Micro biology and genetics advances converge on an origin in sub-Saharan Africa around 60,000 BCE
    - Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens Sapiens co-existed and were not genetically compatible,
    - Human Founder populations (and in general) need more than two individuals (discussion deferred to the next article).
    - Stories of Man made from dirt appear earlier than the Torah in Southwest Asia and all over the world (discussion deferred to the next article).

    Adam and Eve don't fit. </form>

  • thetrueone

    The question remains does the devout believing Christian like AGuest/Shelby block the truth when in doesn't fit into their

    preconceived belief parameters or do they accept it in the spirit of intellectual honesty ?

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